Storyboard question, how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by blip, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. blip

    blip Sr Member

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    Anyone here draw their own storyboards?
    Just curious about the different ways people go about it.
     
  2. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I used to. I actually had an entire class on it in art school. "Storyboarding for animation". She made us write the scripts and draw them out and frame them. It was one of the few classes I got above a C in but it's been so long I'm not sure about doing it anymore. if you want to do it for animation there are a lot of books on drawing animation (Preston Blaire is the best) that explains it.
     
  3. blip

    blip Sr Member

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    Thanks Wes, I'll track that book down and have a read.
    I'm trying to come up with an easy process that anyone can use to get a good result quickly.

    I'm tending for a layered process, starting with location, then action, then emotion, then camera placement.

    Sounds workable?
     
  4. JPolacchi

    JPolacchi Sr Member

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    What's the name of the "best" Preston Blaire Animation book you can think of?I can always use another book on such subjects.
     
  5. DARTH SABER

    DARTH SABER Master Member

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    I've done storyboards for commercials and videos here in Miami.
    I usually use my lap top, a Wacom tablet and Painter/Photoshol program.
    I find it much quicker than traditional sketching.
     
  6. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    I've done storyboards before. My Fiction Technique teacher back at FSU had us draw up storyboards for the short stories we were writing, so to give an idea on what we wanted for our story. She didn't mind any style (even stick figures). At that time I was getting into machinima and had recently bought The Sims 2 to test out as a machinima making tool. So, I constructed a "set" of what was the location in the story, created my Sim representations of my characters, and took screencaps of the Sims performing certain actions (close enough to match what I wanted for the story). After it was done, I printed it out and then submitted it in for a grade. When I got the paper back, I had received an A+ on it with a note saying, "You definitely put a lot of detail and thought into this. Impressive!" So, machinima can be useful as a tool.

    Another one you can do, which is probably better, is using action figures or wooden art figurines. I came across a page where a filmmaker had shown how he created storyboards for his short film, where he took the wooden art figurines, composed the shot he wanted and used a digital camera to take a picture to use for the storyboard. The same principle can be applied if you're using action figures (anything from the 3 3/4 inch G.I. Joe size to 12 inch figures can do it), as by doing the composition, one shot can say so much, like the work of Mark Hogencamp).

    I've only done the machinima one before. As long as you're only using it for a story or showing the shots you want to do for a short film project, then either of the above mentioned suggestions should work. Don't expect to use them in any behind the scenes/making-of featurettes if its for a short or feature-length film (unless the GUI says otherwise, its best to be on the side of caution).
     
  7. godproject

    godproject Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've always used Macromedia Flash because the timeline and layers are all there already, and after I lay out the action I can just add another layer over that to do the finished product. You can export all the frames to multiple different video formats or as an image sequence if you like. You can also import 3d imagery if you have the know-how.
     
  8. Clerval

    Clerval Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You're close in your layered theory, but not quite...:

    1) Size of stage. Frame dimensions/aspect ratio. Pick it and stick to it, every frame, have it drawn in. You'll learn in time how to hang them together, create longer or shots with a lot of motion. Number all of your boards too.

    2) Shot type. From ECU to ELS... extreme close-up to long shot. Learn where the cut off points on people are for your shot selection.

    3) Eye line/height of horizon. Are we even with our char, above them? below them?

    4) Lens selection. What do different lenses do to your scene? Can you quickly show why someone'd choose a 24, 50, 75mm or greater...? Study depth of field.

    5) Camera/actor movements... what are they, and actor blocking? How do you move the camera, literally. Pan, tilt, dolly, track, zoom... indicate in your scene... if you're going to use arrows to show cam or actor or element motion (ugh) learn to do it right.

    6) Line of action/180. Get to know the 180 rule and when to break and not to break it. How can you break it 'safely'? What happens going from outdoors to in? In a car? At a dinner table with multiple guests...?

    All of the above serve the emotion of the shot, all of the technical falls into place when you know the purpose of the shot/sequence.

    As for how you make them, who the hell cares? If you don't have someone dictating that, just grab a ream of paper and a box of pencils: easiest, fastest, cheapest.
     
  9. scottinthebooth

    scottinthebooth New Member

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    Check your local community college as well. I took a storyboarding class there and it turned out to be taught by a local news producer. Provided a lot of networking opportunities.

    Scottinthebooth
     
  10. blip

    blip Sr Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the great tips. There's plenty to keep me going for a while.


    This is curious, what tricks would you use to distract the viewers from a change in direction?
     
  11. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  12. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  13. KidL

    KidL Well-Known Member

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  14. Clerval

    Clerval Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You don't distract them, you show them. Only when entering a building (walking through a doorway, more precisely) does the change become permissible through a direct cut.

    Otherwise:

    Insert a shot on the line.
    Move the camera around/over the line in a single shot.
    Move the actors, change their positions relative to it, in a single shot.
     
  15. blip

    blip Sr Member

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    Thanks again everyone, looks like I'm going to be reading for a while.


    Lol, ^ I figured as much, I was just wondering if you had come up with some new tricky way to shift the side the camera was on - just for the fun of it.

    I guess you could get creative, even have a fly bother the actor, then go to POV of the fly, have the camera shift position with the POV of the fly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  16. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yes, you could, but the 180 rule is one that I have seen experienced directors and DoP´s struggle with while shooting. :lol
     
  17. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Sr Member

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    I've had the experience of working from extremely detalied and ornate boards and also from stickmen-like ones and the both serve the same purpose. You don't want to over-engineer them as it is a waste of energy.

    The point is what is in the frame and where does it sit within relation to the other objects.
     
  18. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Sr Member

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    I've had the experience of working from extremely detalied and ornate boards and also from stickmen-like ones and the both serve the same purpose. You don't want to over-engineer them as it is a waste of energy.

    The point is what is in the frame and where does it sit within relation to the other objects.
     
  19. blip

    blip Sr Member

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    Would you include directional arrows to show where people are moving and indicators for light sources, or do you prefer that sort of thing to be put in the text below the frames?
     
  20. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Sr Member

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    Lighting (unless it is particularly specific to the action) should be left to the DP.
    Movement / directionsals are okay, as long as they are simplified.

    Better to draw 4 separate boards for an action shot rather than 1 frame that is full
    Of conflicting arrow directions.
     

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